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Common Appium Mobile Automation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Naman Upadhyay
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Naman Upadhyay
  • Mar 1, 2024
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    7 min read
Common Appium Mobile Automation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
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Appium is a widely used tool for mobile automation testing, as it allows you to test native, web, and hybrid apps on various platforms and devices.

However, Appium testing can also be challenging and prone to errors if not done properly. In this blog, we will discuss some of the common Appium mistakes that testers make and how to avoid them.

What is Appium mobile automation?

Appium, originally developed by Dan Cuellar in 2011 under the alias “iOSAuto”. Right now Appium stands as one of the most used open-source mobile automation tool. Facilitating native, hybrid, and web application, Appium also offers testing on physical devices as well as an emulator or simulator.

Common Appium automation mistakes

Now that we’ve had an overview of what Appium is let’s get down to mistakes which every mobile tester who is using Appium should avoid at all cost.

Overusing XPath locators

One of the first steps in Appium testing is to locate the elements that you want to interact with. There are many ways to do that, such as using accessibility IDs, class names, IDs, CSS selectors, etc.

However, one of the most common mistakes that testers make is to overuse XPath locators, which are not recommended in Appium automation. Moreover, XPath locators are often brittle and hard to maintain, as they depend on the structure and hierarchy of the app’s UI.

To avoid this mistake, you should use XPath locators sparingly and only when other locators are not available or suitable. You should also use relative and simple XPath expressions, rather than absolute and complex ones.

For example, instead of using:

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You can use:

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You should also prefer using accessibility IDs:

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Not testing on real devices or simulators/emulators

Real devices and simulators/emulators can show you how your app works on different situations and devices. If you don’t test on them, you might miss some bugs or issues that affect your users.

This can affect the usability and performance of your app, as your users might encounter problems or frustrations that you didn’t anticipate.

To avoid this mistake, you should test your app on a combination of real devices and variety of simulators/emulators via some of the widely supported platforms.

Not performing parallel testing

Parallel and distributed testing can help you run your tests faster and wider. If you don’t use them, your tests will take longer and cover less. This can affect the efficiency and effectiveness of your testing, as you might waste time and resources on running your tests sequentially and on limited devices or machines.

To avoid this mistake, you should use parallel and distributed testing whenever possible and feasible for your Appium testing.

Parallel execution example:

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Not using proper reporting and analytics

Reporting and analytics can help you understand and improve your testing results. If you don’t use them, you won’t know what’s going on with your testing and how to make it better.

This can affect the evaluation and improvement of your testing, as you might miss some important insights or recommendations that can help you optimize your testing.

To avoid this mistake, you should use proper reporting and analytics for your Appium testing. You should also use tools and frameworks that provide and support reporting and analytics, such as Cucumber Reporter, TestNG,  and Allure.

NodeJS WebDriverIO Allure integration example:

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The impact of these mistakes on the business

Even tho we have mentioned the impact of the individual mistakes, they were not given in the perspective of business, let’s take a look at how these mistakes impact the business.

  • Increased costs
    Overusing XPath locators can slow down test, leading to longer test cycles and ultimately increased costs.
  • Missing deadlines
    Not performing parallel testing can significantly increase the time it takes to run all tests, delaying the overall development process.
  • Negative impact on business reputation
    In the era where social media being available everywhere, if the app is known for it’s bugs or poor performance will harm the business behind it and everyone will know about it through social media.

Conclusion

To sum up, Appium mobile testing can be tricky and error-prone if not done right. You can avoid common Appium automation mistakes by following the best practices and tips that we shared in this blog. You can also use various platforms and tools that support Appium testing, such as BrowserStack, SauceLabs, Perfecto, and more.

At Alphabin, we follow industry standards using Appium and other advanced technologies. If you need a trustworthy and skilled partner for your mobile app project, contact us today and let us help you succeed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Appium and what is its role in mobile automation testing?
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Appium is an open-source automation testing framework used for web, native, and hybrid mobile applications. It supports multiple mobile operating systems, like Android, iOS, and Windows, and allows writing tests in various programming languages. Appium’s popularity stems from its ability to test across platforms using the same API, enabling code reuse between test suites.

What are the best practices for mobile app test automation using Appium?
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  • Stay updated with mobile trends: The mobile landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay informed about new devices, operating systems, and app development frameworks.
  • Understand Appium Libraries: Familiarize yourself with the various Appium libraries to leverage their full potential.
  • Optimize Test Scripts: Ensure your test scripts are efficient and avoid unnecessary complexity.
  • Test on Real Devices: While emulators and simulators are useful, testing on real devices provides the most accurate representation of user interactions
  • Implement Parallel Testing: Running tests in parallel can significantly reduce execution time and help identify compatibility issues faster.
  • Continuous Integration: Integrate Appium tests into your CI pipeline to ensure that testing is part of the regular build process.
  • Embrace Cloud-Based Testing Platforms: Cloud platforms can offer a diverse range of devices and environments, making it easier to scale your testing efforts.
What are the prerequisites for using Appium in testing?
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To use Appium, you need a test device or emulator, the Appium server and client libraries, the application under test installed on the device, and platform-specific SDKs like Xcode for iOS or Android SDK for Android.

How appium handles different types of mobile applications?
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  1. Native Apps: Designed for specific mobile operating systems like Android or iOS. Appium automates these using platform-specific drivers.
  2. Web Apps: Accessed through mobile browsers and developed using standard web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Appium interacts with these apps using mobile browser automation.
  3. Hybrid Apps: Combine elements of native and web apps. Appium automates these by interacting with the webview component within the app.
  4. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): PWAs are applications that offer an experience that performs like native. Appium tests PWAs similarly to how it tests web apps, with additional capabilities to interact with service workers and other PWA features.

About the author

Naman Upadhyay

Naman Upadhyay

Naman Upadhyay, a proficient QA Engineer at Alphabin, excels in Python and React, proficiently managing diverse projects. Known for his precision-driven approach, he delivers high-quality software solutions.

More about the author
Join 1,241 readers who are obsessed with testing.
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Join 1,241 readers who are obsessed with testing.
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